The Daily Telegraph

‘Thanks to Zoom, I’ve met a woman who could be “the one”’


In the first two weeks of lockdown, I scanned 1,000 faces and had five video dates and was just considerin­g giving up when I connected with Candice on Hinge, says author Ben Arogundade.

A 44-yearold art director and painter, she was divorced, with a five-year-old son. She had narrow eyes, a thin mouth and pronounced cheekbones.

“Those cheekbones look sharper than a scalpel,” I said to her as my opening line. “Thanks,” she replied. “I’m making extra cash during lockdown – as a bread slicer.”

Apart from her wit, what attracted me to her profile was that she was smiling in her photos, had no semi-nude images and talked about art. On the video date, she’d done her hair and make-up, and wore an amazing vintage dress with silver chainmail epaulets that glistened.

In the background, she had a mixture of paintings, wild plants and big art books. I was mesmerised.

As we signed off, we were both smiling. I wondered if we had a hope of forging a real offline connection. Was this simply to be a pandemic version of a holiday romance – that starts and finishes online? Is there a danger that what happens in corona stays in corona?

When the lockdown rules changed, we met up for two hours of “walk-n-talk” in Hyde Park. It took all my willpower not to hug her.

“When this is over, things are going to get seriously physical,” I said. She smiled and said: “I am really looking forward to that.”

Have I met a new partner? I hope so. For us, video dating and physical isolation have made me value human interactio­n more than ever. Zoom is part of our modern romance.

‘My Terrifying, Shocking, Humiliatin­g, Amazing Adventures in Online Dating’ by Ben Arogundade (White Label, £9.99) is out now

 ??  ?? Online romance: Ben Arogundade met Candice and was mesmerised
Online romance: Ben Arogundade met Candice and was mesmerised

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